Unity Center for Behavioral Health is open
Adventist Health, Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health and Oregon Health & Science University are pleased to announce the opening of Unity Center for Behavioral Health. The unprecedented collaboration of the four major health systems will provide care for those in need through a combination of emergency, inpatient and transition to outpatient services.
On Tuesday, January 31, existing behavioral health inpatients from Adventist, Legacy and OHSU transferred to the new facility. On Thursday, February 2, the first dedicated Psychiatric Emergency Service (PES) began accepting walk-ins and transfers from Unity Center partner emergency departments.
The PES is an outpatient service where a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner evaluate patients in a timely fashion and creates a treatment plan customized to the patient’s individual needs. The PES is laid out in an innovative “living room” design with recliners, group space and calming rooms. Patients may stay in the PES for up to 23 hours before returning to the community.
“People experiencing a psychiatric emergency cannot always get the help they need, when they need it,” says Chris Farentinos, M.D., vice president of Unity Center. “In the PES we hope to drastically reduce the amount of time people have to wait for the appropriate care compared to a conventional hospital emergency room. Giving a person immediate attention has proven to reduce the risk of hospitalization and shows better outcomes.”
Other unique features of Unity Center are onsite representatives from many community partners to offer transitional support services and strong peer support personnel. Having themselves recovered from a mental illness, the peers are on hand to help guide patients as they navigate their treatment and transition back into the community.
Unity Center includes 80 adult inpatient beds and 22 inpatient beds for adolescents ages nine through 17. The architecture and various color schemes are designed to reduce agitation and instill a sense of well-being. The facility also includes a pharmacy, spiritual room and a café for visitors and staff. A restful healing garden is planned for summer 2017.
Legacy Health’s Office of Philanthropy led the fundraising efforts for the capital campaign to create Unity Center. Thanks to approximately 700 community and individual donors, nearly $41 million was raised over three years, including a $20 million gift from the Robert D. and Marcia H. Randall Charitable Trust.